Contemporary discovery of Hindu temples and jar burials on the banks of the Musi River, Indonesia
Sondang Martini Siregar
(The Center of Archaeological Research PAlembang)
Paper short abstract:
Short Abstract Many Hindu and Buddhist sites are located on the bank of Musi River, dating between the 6th to 14th centuries. Evidence of burials jars from nearby contemporary sites indicates the continuing presence of prehistoric ritual traditions in south Sumatra.
Paper long abstract:
Hinduism and Buddhism developed rapidly during the rise of the Srivijaya kingdom period. In the Musi River valley, south Sumatra, the Srivijaya rulers played an important role in the spread of these religions from coastal areas to the hinterlands. Numerous Hindu and Buddhist sites have been located on the bank of Musi River, South Sumatra, Indonesia dating between the 6th century to 14th centuries. These sites are characteristic by the presence of temples and statues however new discoveries indicate the contemporary use of burial jars, a tradition that was important in prehistory. This paper will discuss several of these sites. Lesung Batu site is 200 meters from a Hindu temple and contains a burial jar with ancient pottery as well as Chinese ceramics associated with the 10th century. In the area around Ranau Lake, which has a developed megalithic tradition, another burial jar was found near a Hindu temple. Based on radiocarbon dating, the burial jar is associated with the 11th century. This evidence demonstrates the continued use of a prehistoric burial jar tradition during the time when Hinduism was the major state religion.
Archaeologies of religion: material approaches to the study of belief systems in Southeast Asia